Sun and hate in London

Another story came to London from the practical-pragmatic side. I’ll tell you 10, no 20, in general, a finite but too lazily calculated amount of advice that I would give myself before moving. Let’s talk about medicine, banks, housing, documents, local culture, how to work, and how to relax.

Hello everyone 🖐️

ℹ️ TTX: Andrey. Software engineer. I moved to London from Voronezh a little less than a year ago. For the most part I do all sorts of full-stack garbage (React, Angular, Node.js). I know how to do a little of everything and really nothing. I like to think that when I grow up, I’ll learn how to code low-level C/C++/Rust stuff like cool guys.

💼 Full stack (web, blockchain, even held a candle for those who coded something in Rust) in outsourcing (DSR, data art) -> Taxied front in hazelcast -> No longer taxiing, but still front in bricks (Excel uber-killer for the browser) -> Pilu flipper in organization-which-now-(sigh)-cannot-be-named.

📜 I write articles in your blog.

🎙️ Performing on conferences.

🎓 Get a master’s degree online (OMSCS) at Georgia Tech.

❤️ I love math, physics, rational thinking, and understanding how different things work. When I’m not at my computer, I usually climb hills and mountains, snowboard, try not to get punched in a boxing ring, or pull iron in the gym.

✉️ Write letters and send transfers to Twitter, LinkedIn or on mine micro site.

git reset fd93ac4

fd93ac4 is the first 7 SHA-1 characters from “2021”

A little background. I’ve always wondered how they live “there”. Was in the USA on Work&Travel. Then there on business trips from DSR, for which many human thanks to them. I finally became stronger in my desire to try to live on the other side of the fence after working for American startups and riding conferences from Hazelcast (Thanks to them too! Thank you everyone!). In the middle of 2020, I did a little research and, based on numbers and dry facts, I decided on candidates for the move. Having fairly procrastinated, at the beginning of 2021 I spammed all foreign companies and, having received an offer, I moved to London in August 2021. Since then I have been living there, that is, here.

It is not necessary to receive an offer to move to the UK. You can make a talent visa yourself. In the last article, I wrote about how I suddenly became a talent.

Getting ready to move

  1. Documents (excluding the obvious current foreigner)

    1. Don’t forget to take your old passports. They will be useful for obtaining all sorts of visas in the future.
    2. Birth certificate, marriage certificate. We will apostille before leaving.
    3. Diploma of Higher Education. Apostille. There is a life hack with an apostille. The Ministry of Education puts an apostille on the diploma itself and it does this for an infinitely long time. An apostille on a notarized copy of a diploma is made by some other organization in 3 days.
    4. School certificate, vaccination certificate. An apostille is not required. Probably.
    5. Medical card with case histories.

Apostille has not come in handy anywhere for me yet. However, he certainly has never interfered.

If your foreigner does not have enough expiration date before obtaining citizenship in a new place of residence, then get a second passport. Under the law, you can get a second passport in addition to the previous one.

  1. Money

    1. Six months ago, I would have written a lot of text here about how I transported my assets, and now xs. May the force be with you! Share your workflows in the comments.

  2. Things

    1. The situation is similar to money. Six months ago, I would have recommended specific movers who delivered everything to me safe and sound. Sorry.

In London


If you do not have a bank account, then you are not a person here. The first thing you need to do is open a bank account. I use online banking – Starling. While the flight is normal. They may be stubborn and ask you to prove that you live at the address that you indicate in the application. In this case, open Revolut. As soon as you conclude an apartment rental agreement, you can confirm your place of residence with this agreement and open Starling.
You can also apply to Barclays on the first day. They allow you to use your phone’s GPS to verify an address. After you open an account with Barclays, switch the receipt of the statement to the shortest interval possible. Once you have a statement from the bank, you can use it to confirm the address everywhere. Including for opening an account with Starling.

Revolut is not a bank. They are not licensed in the UK. I would only use them as a fallback until you open an account with a licensed bank (Starling, Barclays, and others).

After a few months, you may already be approved for a credit card application. The cheapest is American Express. In fact, this is the only way in the UK to get some kind of stable cashback.


Next, you need to take care of housing. You can search for options on Zoopla, right move, open rent. It is useless to search in advance before arrival. Apartments are selling like hot cakes. Filter ads older than a week or two. Usually this is garbage that they forgot to clean up. Don’t try to write to realtors. Call and make an appointment. In general, get used to calling in Britain. A typical lease includes a deposit of 3 monthly annuities and two months’ notice of termination. As a result, many apartments on the market are available for entry only after one and a half to two months, when the current tenant moves out. Be prepared and book temporary accommodation for at least two months.


I can’t write better than here. TLDR; Invest in your retirement as much as possible. A special ISA investment account is also available to you. You can throw up to 20k pounds a year on it and invest in securities. You don’t have to pay taxes on these investments. You can shoot anytime. This is the IIS as it should have been. The easiest option to start trading is Freetrade. A slightly more complex option for the sophisticated is Interactive Brokers. ISA is both there, and there.

The medicine

She’s free here. It’s called the NHS. Upon arrival, you need attach to one of the GPs. GP is such a master of all sores. If you feel bad, then you go to him. He looks at you and either writes a prescription himself, or sends you to a specialized specialist. You can wait a long time for a specialized specialist. I’ve been hearing rumors about queues for months. Long, but free. You will have to pay something for the prescribed medicines, but not much.
The alternative is private medicine. Fast and expensive. The employer can give insurance to one of the private companies. It happens that insurance covers only a visit to a specialist, but not the drugs prescribed by him. In this case, you can either donate a kidney and go broke buying medicines out of your own pocket, which is an order of magnitude more expensive than buying an NHS prescription, or you can go to your NHS GP and ask a brotherly copy of a doctor’s prescription from a private practice on an NHS letterhead.


London has a fairly good underground. Lots of comfortable buses. The entire country is covered by a network of railways with comfortable trains. So far, I have never had the desire to drive. The culture of bicycles is developed. But the real king in central London is the pedestrian.


According to my feelings, for a comfortable stay in one, the costs will be approximately the following:

  • Housing (good studio or 1-bedroom) – 1500 pounds
  • Communal – 200 pounds
  • Food – 400 pounds
  • Entertainment – 400 pounds.

Total: £2,500 per month or £30,000 per year after taxes.

The tax scale is progressive. There are practically no deductions. For a rough estimate, you can multiply your senior salary by 0.6 and get the amount that remains on hand.


I will be brief. She is not. All colleagues and casual interlocutors in a boxing club or in the gym can hardly imagine how Ukraine differs from Russia and Belarus. They only show sympathy and ask if everything is fine with my relatives in Russia.


  1. Hiking

    1. Lots of trails and parks. I usually look for directions to AllTrails and OS Maps.
    2. In most of the country, you can camp anywhere. No need to look for a dedicated place.
    3. Tickets for trains to routes are moderate. Usually round-trip is about 20 pounds.
  2. Gym

    1. Everything is very expensive. Expect most gyms to charge you around £100 a month. If you are lucky, then next to the house you will have PureGymwhich takes three times less.
    2. There are few horizontal bars on the streets. You should not count on them. I know of only one park in all of central London where they are.
  3. Boxing

    1. Google the Amateur boxing club in your area. Only they charge very reasonable money for membership. For example, my Rathbone Amateur Boxing Club takes only 40 pounds a month. Everything else stands like a wing from an airplane. For example, one group workout at that Rathbone Boxing Club outside of Rathbone Amateur Boxing Club will easily set you back £20.


I will be glad to see you in London! Feel free to ask questions in the comments. Write if you happen to be passing through here or move permanently. Good luck!

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